“I and thy Father are one.”
Jesus told us this, and this same teaching can be found in any of our sacred scriptures.
The Tao Te Ching doesn’t contain the word, “God,” but instead uses the word, “Tao,” or “the Way.” But reading this text we are urged to become one with Tao.
The Buddha never spoke of God, but in Buddhism we are urged to go within. We are told that “Enlightenment comes from within us.” We are told that everything is already there inside of us, and it is only a matter of uncovering and discovering it.
So then we don’t “get” enlightenment, we discover that enlightenment is already within us.
But so very many of us were raised and taught of a God that is separate. We are taught of a God that is “out there” somewhere in Heaven. We are taught to pray and ask this God for things that we want and desire.
We are taught to seek outside of ourselves.
And this is such a vast incredible illusion that it is staggering.
Not only are we taught to seek outside of ourselves for what we desire, we are taught also to do everything that Jesus told us not to do.
We judge others. We cannot forgive others even though Jesus told us repeatedly to forgive, and that, “We are forgiven as we forgive.” (Not forgiving others is our own selves suffering, so the moment we forgive, we are no longer suffering.)
Jesus gave us explicit instructions on how to pray, saying for us to, “Pray and give thanks as if you have already received, and your prayers will be answered.”
Yet many of our prayers are more along the lines of, “God please help me get this job.” or “God please let me get out of this situation and I will be better next time.
In his book, “Conversations With God,” Neil Donald Walsh tell us that we have formed the same kind of relationship with God that we had with out parents. We manipulate, bargain, and try to see what we can get away with.
I remember so clearly trying to work things out in my mind as a child.
“Well if God will forgive me for sinning, then I can sin and He will forgive me.” I reasoned. I actually asked my mother, “How many times will He forgive me?”
This embedded theology is so deeply engrained into the fabric of our lives, that it is going to take a great deal of work to get it out.
Who knew that every time I sinned, it was only hurting me?
Who knew that every time I judged, I was only judging myself?
Who knew that every time I held a grudge, it was me that I couldn’t forgive?
Who knew that it wasn’t God who withheld things from me, but that it was me?
Kyle Shiver is Spiritual Leader of Tybee Spirit, and can be reached at 912-495-8520 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org